Long-awaited London-Shanghai share listing project goes live

LONDON (Reuters) – Companies listed in Britain will be able to sell shares in China on Monday with the launch of a long-awaited London-Shanghai Stock Connect project that finance minister Philip Hammond called a chance to deepen “global connectivity”.

Under the Connect scheme, Shanghai-listed companies can raise new funds via London’s stock market while British companies can broaden their investor base by selling existing shares in Shanghai.

The project was intended to begin late last year with the December listing of Chinese brokerage Huatai, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But the listing was delayed at the last minute.

Huatai Securities Co Ltd then effectively launched Connect earlier this month with the announcement of plans to raise money on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Huatai, one of China’s largest brokerages, is expected to make its London market debut on June 17, becoming the first company to trade via the London-Shanghai Stock Connect project.

From Monday, London investors will have the opportunity to trade Global Depositary Receipts in Huatai.

Hammond, launching Stock Connect’s first day of trading at the LSE, is expected to say: “London is a global financial center like no other, and today’s launch is a strong vote of confidence in the UK market.”

“Stock Connect is a ground-breaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia,” he will say, according to extracts from his comments provided by finance ministry.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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